Sensory sensitivity and identification and hedonic assessment of olfactory stimuli

1 Wydział Psychologii, Szkoła Wyższa Psychologii Społecznej w Warszawie
2 Oddział Psychiatrii Wieku Rozwojowego SPDSK w Warszawie
Correspondence to: Borys Ruszpel, ul. Koszykowa 1/21, 00‑564 Warszawa, tel.: 692 940 490, e‑mail:
The studies were financed from the funds for statutory research of the Department of Psychology, SWPS

PSYCHIATR. PSYCHOL. KLIN. 2012, 12 (2), p. 88-95

Conducted research had an exploratory character. It was focused on connections between temperament and olfactory functioning – in particular, identification and affective assessment of olfactory stimuli. Main research question dealt with potential correlations between sensory sensitivity (dimension of temperamental questionnaire FCZ‑KT) with declarative and objective ability to identify presented odours and their assessment. Fifty four schoolgirls from one of the Warsaw secondary schools participated in the research and they were asked for filling in the FCZ‑KT questionnaire and evaluating each of 16 smell samples. Analyses revealed a significant positive correlation between declared familiarity and accurate odours’ identification (odours that were subjectively known were recognized more accurately than unknown) and a positive correlation between declared familiarity and affective assessment (odours that were known were assessed as more pleasant than unknown). Sensory sensitivity was not correlated neither with declarative nor real ability to identify smells, however sensory sensitivity was positively correlated with affective assessment (the higher scores on sensory sensitivity dimension, the more pleasantly assessed odours in general). Analyses revealed a number of connections between other dimensions of FCZ‑KT questionnaire (perseverance, liveliness, stamina) and the ability (both objective and subjective) to correctly identify odours which were most difficult to recognize. Completed project might be perceived as a starting point for further research concerning relationships between temperament, olfactory functioning, and food preferences among patients diagnosed with eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and obesity.

Słowa kluczowe: olfactory psychology, odours identification, hedonic assessment of olfactory stimuli, temperament, sensory sensitivity